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General News of Sunday, 9 March 2014

Source: XYZ

Jake berates Mahama: Stop giggling and get serious

The Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey has likened President John Mahama’s leadership to that of a ‘giggling teenager.’

In a statement, Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said: “Instead of mature and inspiring leadership, we got a performance of giggling teenager intent on getting us to ‘like me’”, especially at a time that: “Ghana is on the brink of a real crisis in our economy and how it is being mismanaged.”

According to the former Tourism Minister, “we need thoughtful and committed leadership. Leadership that is prepared to lead; that has ideas about how to bring us together; leadership that we will all agree to support and follow as we seek to restore macroeconomic stability.”

He said: “At this time Mr President, we don’t need to ‘like’ you for your boyish charm. We need to trust you. We need to have faith in your ability to deliver. A good start to generating trust and faith would have been for you to show you fully understand the predicament we are in. The future does not look bright and your saying that it does will not make it bright.”

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey wondered if - on the backdrop of the President’s “constant moans about the 70% of revenue” being used for Government remuneration as well as Labour’s insistence on exacting a 20 percent wage increment, coupled with the Finance Minister’s call for a freeze on wage rises – the President was sure his State of the Nation Address “got us all in the right frame of mind to accept the many sacrifices needed to balance the books?”

He said in spite of all the President’s “giggles and reassurances”, the local currency still continues to lose value against the dollar and other major international currencies on the forex market.

“The steps you took to slow this process ended up destroying confidence in the economy, leading to more capital flight and then increased pressure on the Cedi. Will we be able to giggle our way back to a more stable currency?”

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey addressed the President directly saying: “You demonstrate your commitment to an industrial revolution by offering to show us your ‘made in Ghana’ shoes. Bravo. But how much more inspiring if you had laid out the incentives your government was providing, for example, reduction in number of taxes, a commitment to tax actual profit and not projected profit, breaks on raw materials etc. etc. that would give the ‘local boy’ the chance to become a new ‘Bata’”.

He said: “Mr President, Ghana is synonymous with gold and cocoa. You moaned about US$1.3 billion being lost by low prices and low production. The news about the levels of layoffs by our two major mines should be causing you sleepless nights. However you sleep so soundly that you made no mention of any interventions to cushion the impact on the thousands who are to lose their jobs, nor any mention of what you are doing to maintain some confidence in the mining sector for the medium to long term.”

Indicting the President’s performance further, the former Chief of Staff said: “For cocoa no mention of any decision to reverse your inept, corrupt and politically driven looting that has resulted in the loss of 200,000 tonnes of exports and more and more cocoa farms being uprooted for galamsey. Moaning and giggling will not produce one extra pod of cocoa.”

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey added: “You hail accomplishments in law and order only to have the United Nations produce a damning report on Ghana’s new leadership in narcotics production and distribution. Hardly in accord with your version of the state of the Nation.”

He wrote: “Mr President constructive criticism is not limited to applauding and cheerleading. Your best friend can be the one who tells you the real truth but only if you recognize it and learn from it. But above all, first stop the giggling. Serious times call for seriousness.”